Staff Message: Ukraine

La Trobe University strongly condemns all acts of war and aggression.

The following is a message sent from Vice-Chancellor La Trobe University, Professor John Dewar AO, to staff on 4 March:

Dear colleagues,

As we communicated to our staff and students on Monday (28 February), La Trobe University strongly condemns all acts of war and aggression.

Since we issued our message on Monday, a number of staff have contacted me, asking whether the University has any active connections with Russian institutions.

We can confirm that La Trobe does not have any formal education partnerships or partnerships with Russian research institutions. The University does not intend to create any partnerships or activities with Russian institutions or industry, with immediate effect, and we encourage our academics to cease any research collaborations with Russian institutions.

We have assessed the University’s investment portfolio and identified a very small exposure of 0.06 per cent, equating to around $20,000. We are liaising with our Investment Fund about divestment options for this exposure.

We have also undertaken a procurement review. There are no active Russian vendors and we have blocked three inactive vendors on our system.

We are currently looking at ways in which we can support displaced PhD and other students in Ukraine and will provide further information on this soon.

I would like to call out our own academic Dr Robert Horvath, a specialist in Russian politics, who has been providing media commentary on the situation in Ukraine. I’d encourage you to read his article in The Age yesterday, Putin is not Russia. He is a despot on borrowed time.

Again, we ask that staff show compassion and support for those who may be affected by the current situation and encourage those who need it to seek support from our Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion team.

Professor John Dewar AO, Vice-Chancellor La Trobe University